Playing their last show of their tour, Young The Giant kept the rock form pure and alive during their concert at the Boulder Theater on 11/17. Playing songs from their self-titled debut album, and Mind Over Matter, they kept the crowd dancing and captivated as lead singer, Samer Gadhia, crooned the night away.
His vocals held emotion and changed with the rising tides and ebbing lows of each song. While the band was a strong ensemble, his voice captured the audience and allowed for high-energy vibes to flow freely. Even though it was their second night in Boulder, they acted as if this was the first show of the tour–the guitarists would often jam with one another and the drummer, Francois Comtois, kept a steady rhythm with the intricate guitar work.
While it was light and fun, the lyrics often held greater truths than the vibes that were felt in the auditorium. In the song “Eros,” Gadhia sang, “Nobody waits nobody calls anymore; talking is dead; / These fake conversations, tired nations,” and after a couple other songs, gave a talk about the use phones during concert. I grinned inside–taking photos can be distracting, especially when they are just going to be streamed on Snapchat and geo locations. Gadhia asked us to be present with the band, and almost half of the phones were immediately shoved into pockets. The next song held hints of dark undertones, but they quickly transitioned into one of their more famous hits, “Mind Over Matter.”
From there, they played two more top singles in a row, “It’s About Time” and “Cough Syrup.” Newcomers to their music would instantly recognize “It’s About Time,” as the drum beats, guitar picking and lyrics are catchy enough to remember without thinking twice about it, and tightly put together to want to remember the song. “All the kids are throwing sticks: / Politics / Nights on the wire! / Everybody wants to get by / Ts a test of the times!” Gadhia sings, and there is a thread throughout their songs of speaking of issues larger than just a standard love story or tragic situation. Maybe this is what has helped boost them into popularity–their songs can be read in a variety of ways, making connections with a variety of people and ages. While there weren’t too many x-marked hands, the crowd ranged in age groups, from newly christened drinkers to retirees.
Before they played “Cough Syrup,” Gadhia announced there is always that one song that will stay with bands, the one they both love and hate. For them, that is “Cough Syrup.” Created when the band was still “The Jakes,” way back in the early 2000s, it has traveled with them on their musical journey. And when they played it at the Boulder Theater, it was obvious that both the band and crowd, at the moment, adored the song and all its energy.
After the triad of their hits, the band introduced a more atmospheric and outer space feel. They quickly quited down their instruments, and Gadhia’s voice rang through during the song, “Firelight.” Emotion flooded his voice and the room, while a simple guitar melody accompanied his soulful lyrics. It mirrored the space-like ambiance of the audiotorium, and I was delighted that I have never heard this piece by them.
While Young The Giant played an hour and half set, the end came too soon when they thanked us for joing them on them on this cold yet thrilling night. However, they quickly came back to play a three-set encore, ending with “My Body.” This single had been knowingly left out of their set, and the crowd erupted in cheers and pumping fists when they heard the rolling drums blare out. The opener, The Wildling, joined them on stage, and left a memorable last song of the night, and of the tour.